Bonanza Airlines Pilot Hat Badge 2nd Issue
Las Vegas, NV 1945-1968
Bonanza Air Service started in 1945, based in Las Vegas flying only within Nevada. Later that year the three owners set in motion a plan to expand the business, changing its name from Bonanza Air Services to Bonanza Air Lines (BAL) and incorporating the company. This expansion began 1951 with flights to Phoenix and by 1952 to California. In 1966 the headquarters was moved form Las Vegas to Phoenix. On April 17, 1968 the CAB approved Bonanza Air Lines merger with Pacific Air Lines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West. In 1970 Air West was renamed Hughes Airwest, and in 1980 was acquired by Republic Airlines (the result of the 1979 merger of North Central Airlines and Southern Airways). In 1986 Northwest Airlines acquired Republic. Northwest in turn merged with Delta Air Lines in 2008.